from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person held in custody, captivity, or a condition of forcible restraint, especially while on trial or serving a prison sentence.
  • n. One deprived of freedom of expression or action: "He was a prisoner of his own personality—of that given set of traits that . . . predisposed him to see the world in a certain way, to make certain moves, certain choices” ( William H. Hallahan).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person incarcerated in a prison, while on trial or serving a sentence.
  • n. Any person held against his or her will.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who is confined in a prison.
  • n. A person under arrest, or in custody, whether in prison or not; a person held in involuntary restraint; a captive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who keeps a prison; a jailer.
  • n. One who is confined in a prison by legal arrest or warrant.
  • n. A person under arrest or in custody of the law, whether in prison or not: as, a prisoner at the bar of a court.
  • n. A captive; one taken by an enemy in war.
  • n. One who or that which is deprived of liberty or kept in restraint.
  • n. In mech., a piece of metal used to connect two adjacent parts of the rim of a fly-wheel. The prisoner is usually put in place in recesses in the rim while hot, so that its contraction during cooling will draw the two parts of the rim together very tightly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who is confined; especially a prisoner of war


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But, the judge advocate having made the above statement to the court, from which it appeared that the prosecutor, as such, objected to any adjournment, and from the same statement it appearing also to the court, that the commanding general thought an adjournment to the first of December less prejudicial to the service than an adjournment for three months — the eourt did adjourn for the longer period, either for the greater accommodation of the prisoner, or out of respeet to the interests of the service: for neither reason is ex - pressed in the decision — nor does it appear that any objec - tion was made at the thiie by the prisoner*

    Trial of Col. Thomas H. Cushing Before a General Court Martial: Which Sat at ...

  • Politicians still balk at the term prisoner swap though political sources say it's certainly an option.

    CNN Transcript Aug 16, 2006

  • Guatemala is a country where the term prisoner was unknown; it has not existed in 50 years.

    Reportage on Fidel Castro's Official Visit to Uruguay Gives Speech at Town Hall

  • Heba has been living in a prison for the past three years; sadly enough the prisoner is her very own father who denied her the right to live freely and forced her into adopting his beliefs and his life style.

    Global Voices in English » Egypt: Heba Mohammed Najeeb – between a rock and a hard place

  • Ricks, wearing a green prison jumpsuit with the word "prisoner" written in white on the back and with a close haircut of his salt and pepper hair, stood before U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris as the charges were read aloud during a 30-minute hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

    Ex-teacher Ricks admits to new charges

  • In a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Tribby stood Friday before Judge Liam O'Grady wearing a green prison jumpsuit with the word "prisoner" written on the back and swore under oath with French manicured nails before her hearing began.

    Guilty plea in $14M bank fraud case

  • The Libyans were insisting on what they call a prisoner transfer agreement between the two countries, which sounds like, you know, one of these vanilla agreements that two countries reach.

    The Copper State

  • We have what we call a prisoner transport center in Albuquerque.

    New Mexico Voters Side With Strong Approach To Illegal Immigration

  • The minute he says the word prisoner, Jacob jumps to his feet.


  • I agree with one of its main points which was that using ruses or building rapport with a prisoner is the most effective interrogation technique.

    Waldo Jaquith - Kiefer Sutherland to troops: Torture doesn’t work.


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  • "The Prisoner" (aka: "Bowling for Number Six") ;^)

    August 22, 2007